Chilli con Carne (that famous TexMex Beef Recipe)

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Chilli con Carne with avocado and lime
Chilli con Carne

Chilli con Carne Legend

Everyone knows Chilli con Carne – the ubiquitous Tex Mex food, with beans, without beans, with meat (carne), without meat, the latter also known as chilli sin carne. Its origin is shrouded in mystery but one thing we do know is that it didn’t originate in Mexico!

Some legends give credit to the Lady in Blue, Sister María de Ágreda, of Spain, who had apparently dreamt up this “chilli soup” in one of her many trances and taught it to the Native Americans in the 17th century.

By the 19th century, it had become a huge staple on the Western frontier despite attempts to suppress it and of course, these days, it has become quite the common dish in many countries.

Marinated Vegetables
Grilled peppers on the right. I love using them in so many things instead of fresh

Chilli con Carne Recipe

Everyone has their own different take on this very popular dish, some, unnecessarily more complicated than they need to be. This is our chilli recipe, simple and with sundried tomato paste.

And quite often, I use grilled and marinated peppers for a little bit more depth, like you see above.

A little chilli powder also lends some depth to the chilli but too much and all you get is a bitter after taste. So go easy and opt for fresh chillies to add heat.

Chilli con Carne
With the usual suspects: avocado, lime and soured cream

Superhot Chilli con Carne

When I first posted this recipe in the summer of 2014, I used one of the world’s hottest chillies in it: the Carolina Reaper.

We had a Reaper growing in the garden and well, the dish is called chilli for a reason, isn’t it? And when you’re growing the world’s hottest chilli, you have got to try the damn thing at some point, right?

So we did!


But it was good!!!

Kids, don’t try this at home!

How to Serve Chilli con Carne?

  • with tortilla
  • with rice (my personal favourite)
  • with any bread, be it flat, regular, baguette, focaccia

And a little avocado on the side makes it perfect. The creaminess of avocado complements the heat of chilli con carne beautifully.

Shall we get our aprons on?

If you enjoy the recipe, drop me a comment and let me know. And if you are feeling like a star, don’t forget that 5-star rating!

If you make this recipe, post it on Instagram and tag me @azlinbloor and hashtag it #linsfood.

Lin xx

chilli con carne with avocados slices and lime

Chilli con Carne (that famous TexMex Beef Recipe)

LinsFood's chilli con carne recipe, a delicious mix of minced beef in a rich tomato based sauce, with sundried tomato paste, kidney beans and peppers.
4.91 from 21 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: TexMex (American)
Keyword: chili, chilli
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 2 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 12 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 403kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


  • 500 g lean minced beef
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chilli powder heat level to taste
  • 3 red chillies (more or less, up to you)
  • 250 ml beef stock
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp sundried tomato paste
  • 100 g red kidney beans, soaked overnight (or 1 can weighing 400g/14oz, drained)
  • ½ green capsicum (bell pepper)
  • ½ red capsicum (bell pepper)
  • 1 large handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped (cilantro)
  • 30 g dark chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp soured cream to serve optional


  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat and sauté the onions for a minute, followed by the garlic for 30 seconds.
  • Add the beef, turn the heat up and brown all over, breaking it up as you go along. Do this for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cumin, chilli powder and red chilli, stir to mix thoroughly.
  • Add the beef stock, chopped tomatoes and sundried tomato paste, bring to boil, then lower heat, cover and cook for about 45 minutes.
  • Add the peppers and kidney beans and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off, add the chocolate, stir to melt and mix the chocolate in.
  • Scatter the coriander all over and serve with the soured cream if you like.


Serving: 4 | Calories: 403kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 435mg | Potassium: 1148mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1313IU | Vitamin C: 83mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 7mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!
Made it? Upload your photosMention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!

6 thoughts on “Chilli con Carne (that famous TexMex Beef Recipe)”

  1. Nadene Kretschmann

    5 stars
    I have made this recipe many times since receiving it and I get MASSIVE compliments every time. Thank you for a great recipe.

  2. I was curious how many reaper chilis you used in the portion size just as a starting point. Thanks

    1. These days, one whole chilli. But when I first started growing them, I went with a quarter the very first time. Then half, and finally a whole one.
      I use the reapers and scorpions in curries too.

  3. Hi Azlin

    I was wondering, what is the best way to prepare a whole Carolina Reaper Chili to put in a chili con carne?

    1. Hi Chris. That does depend on your tolerance to the heat. If you think you can handle the whole chilli con carne being debilitatingly hot throughout, then chopping it up fine would be my suggestion. The slightly gentler way would be to halve or quarter it. This second way will give you a very, very hot chilli still as the heat from the reaper will spread and be absorbed but you can still spot the reaper and pick it out if you want.
      My way – chop it up fine or blitz it in a chopper.

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